Friday, February 22, 2013

Next Generation Leader by Andy Stanley (book review)

I have seen a few of Andy Stanley's DVD series - Guardrails and currently my small group is watching iMarriage. Both are very insightful but he brings humor in to the series which helps people better understand the material, I think. When I had the opportunity to read Next Generation Leader by Andy Stanley I was excited.

Next Generation Leaders has some really good insight into how to become a capable leader, some of which may seem counterintuitive. Stanley says to not do too much but to focus on where your capabilities and talents lie. That seems wrong when you're starting in a career because you want to be willing to do everything. But I understand what he means - you want to hone your skills rather than wasting time on things that aren't your thing.

Stanley also talks about having courage and that fear does not mean you are an incapable leader. You just have to have the courage to take risks that scare you sometimes; not foolishly but risks demand you to take a chance. And it's OK to say you don't know something, but always offer to find out the answer. I'd much rather have an authority figure say that they don't know but will find out versus feeding me a bunch of garbage.

One of the best things that Stanley says in this book is to find a mentor, a coach. Even elite athletes who are the best at what they do have coaches! And coaches may not always be able to do what they can do but they can tell them what to do to get better. There is a young man in our church who sought out my husband as a mentor and who holds himself accountable by checking in with men who are more mature than he is. When this young man first asked my husband, I was dumbfounded. I would not have done that as a teenager  - but I should have! I am just learning how much I have to learn from people older than myself - even those a few years older have insight I may not have! I have two wonderful women in my life who I consider mentors - one has children my age, the other has children my kids' ages. They both offer me insight into different situations and how to handle different things in my life. I wish I would have had someone like this years earlier in my life.

I really enjoyed Andy Stanley's book, but I will say that it was not appropriate to my situation. Next Generation Leader is more about being a leader in your career. Where I'm already at the top of this current career (at-home mom and house manager), this book doesn't really pertain to me. I do feel I gleaned a few things from the book, but it's better suited to someone like the young man who sought out my husband as a mentor or even my husband. I plan to have him read it as soon as he finishes a book he just started.

I recommend this book if you want to be a leader in your community, your job, your life. It's a relatively easy read; I knocked it out in three days.

Disclaimer: I received this book in order to write an honest review. Others may or may not have the same opinions as myself or same experiences with the book/author/publisher.

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